Mike Wazowski is a proud and confident monster, partly defined by his friendship with James P. Sullivan, whom he works with as his Scaring Assistant, and drives him through an exercise regimen like a strict coach. They're best friends, roommates, incredibly devoted to each other, although Mike seeks to improve their careers, partly because of the hard work and everything they've ever put into their jobs. He tried really hard to make sure they won the Olympic games so that he could prove he was able to be there.
Mike has a romantic side, shown by his dating Celia Mae, whom he tells Sulley "is the one," presumably the one Mike wants to tie the knot with, and refers to as his "schmoopsie-poo," although he has a self-centered side, as he once commented "[he] oughta marry [himself]."
Like all monsters, Mike believes that human children are toxic with a poisonous touch, and his perfect world comes crashing down on his date with Celia when Sulley shows up with a human girl, whom he is much more afraid of than Sulley, believing the kid is "a killing machine," seeing her as a threat, to his and Sulley's lives, well-beings, their careers, referring to her as "it," a "thing," and not as a child, and was determined, if not desperate, to get rid of her, evident by wanting to put her back in the human world through any door, not just her own. Another reason he was warded from her might have been a pent-up resentment towards children when he realized they weren't scared of him.
His patience with Sulley was strained and tested to the point where Mike finally turned his back on Sulley but caved in, realizing that Boo was innocent, the bond Sulley had made with her was strong, and he followed Sulley back to help him save Boo from Randall Boggs and Mr. Waternoose.
After stranding Randall in the human world, and exposing Waternoose's plan to the CDA, Mike gave Boo his own fond farewell, tell her it had been fun, showing he too had come to care about her when they shared a hug.
In Monsters University, Mike was vaguely the same but, due to youth, had richer determination and planed to become a Scarer in MU's prestigious Scaring Program. As a child, he'd been overlooked for being smaller than everyone but was inspired by Scarer Frank McCay to become one himself. With hard work and studying, he was accepted into MU and confidently strove to succeed.
However, Mike's determination to prove he had what it takes led him to join the Oozma Kappa fraternity as a last-minute resort to enter the Scare Games. But because Mike cared more about his goals than the fraternity, his recklessnes and lack of cooperation almost cost them losing the first round of the Scare Games, and it was only by the Jaws Theta Chi's cheating they were permitted to stay in the Games. After his team's humiliation by the hands of Roar Omega Roar and seeing his team losing their spirit, Mike took them to Monsters Inc. to inspire them and started training them, showing immense skill and potential in coaching. With Mike's hard work, the team progressed through the rounds; Mike also became appreciative of his team.
Unfortunately, Mike's shame of not being scary came back to affect him following the games' conclusion, where, determined to prove everyone wrong, Mike stole a key into the door lab and entered the human world to scare a child, only to realize the hard way, that Sulley had been right when the children aren't scared of him at all.
When Sulley comes through to find him, Mike expresses his sadness, stating he thought if wanted it enough he could prove he was something special and accused Sulley of not understanding him whereupon Sulley admitted his faults and, to Mike's shock, Sulley admitted he acted scary because he was terrified of the expectations he would have to live up to.
As Sulley pointed out, Mike's greatest strength is his fearlessness, despite not being scary himself. So much that even Dean Hardscrabble was impressed by Mike's hard work, and had encouraged them, particularly Mike, to keep surprising others and wishing them luck. Thanks to his perseverance, Mike was able to get him and Sulley their dream of being a Scare Team after a period of hard work.
Mike is a spherical green-skinned monster with a single emerald green eye. He has slender arms and legs, both with claws, but he has four fingers on each hand and three toes on each foot. On his head is a pair of short horns with dark gray tips, and a mouth with jagged teeth. His eye and mouth take up the majority of his body. At work, he wears a blue Monsters, Inc. helmet.
In the first film, Mike is Sulley's best friend and working partner at Monsters, Inc. He is supporting Sulley about being the number one scarer, and both are enemies with Randall Boggs. He is also Celia Mae's boyfriend and seems to be watched at by Roz who awaits for his paperwork. While at Harryhausen's for Celia's birthday, Sulley appeared out of nowhere to tell Mike that he had led a human girl into the monster world.
Putting her into a Monsters, Inc. gym bag, Sulley tried to show him, but the human girl got out of the bag and wreaked havoc all over the restaurant. The two secretly took her out before the CDA found her and disinfected the entire restaurant. When Mr. Waternoose throws Sulley and Mike into the frozen wasteland, a rift forms between them after Mike gets mad at him for listening to Waternoose instead of him.
When they learn that Randall and Waternoose are in on a scam of draining children of screams, Sulley tricks Mr. Waternoose into confessing Randall's plan and him working as Randall's boss while Mike records the confession and smugly replays it to watching CDA agents. Immediately, the CDA turn on Mr. Waternoose and arrest him for being in cahoots with Randall. Once Boo is back in her room, Mike rebuilds her door that the CDA destroyed so Sulley will be happy again, splintering both his hands in the progress.
A stray remark by Mike allowed Sulley to figure out and discover that human children's laughter was 10x more powerful than their screams, and together, with Sulley as the new CEO, they saved Monsters Inc. and solved Monstropolis' energy crisis.
Mike proved his friendship once more by restoring Boo's door after the CDA had it destroyed, despite how long it took considering "it was a lot of wood to go through". By Mike's efforts, Sulley was reunited with Boo.
Sometime after the film, Mike's low-budget company play "Put That Thing Back Where It Came From or So Help Me" that he has starred in, written, directed, and produced comes in front of the audiences.
Sadly, as a young child, Mike didn't have many friends, as a result, when he and his class went on a field trip to Monsters, Inc., and he was partnered with the teacher. Mike was amazed at the scare floor and the scarers themselves, and one scarer, "Frightening" Frank McCay, told him that he learned how to be a scarer at Monsters University. Mike secretly followed Frank into a door he was scaring in, much to the shock of his class and teacher. Frank was amazed, not even knowing Mike had been in the room with him and gave him his Monsters University cap. Mike decided from then on that he would grow up to be the best scarer of all.
Years later, thanks to his hard work and lots of studying, Mike is accepted as a freshman at the prestigious Monsters University, majoring in scaring. On his first day, Mike befriends his roommate, the nerdy and shy Randall Boggs, who desires to be popular and has difficulty controlling his camouflage power.
While studying for the scare final one night, Mike encounters a fellow scare student, an arrogant, playful, all-brawn, large blue monster named James P. "Sulley" Sullivan, who inadvertently sneaks into Mike's room with Archie, the mascot of the rival college, Fear Tech. After greeting each other, Archie steals Mike's hat and escapes. Mike and Sulley follow Archie outside where they have the struggle to capture him. When they do catch Archie, Sulley is invited to join Roar Omega Roar, the top fraternity on campus. Mike tries to join, but an argument with Sulley ignites a rivalry between the two.
Eventually, Mike and Sulley's petty competition gets out of hand and causes Dean Hardscrabble to drop both of them from the program and Sulley to be kicked out of his fraternity. Unhappy in his new major of Scream Can Design, Mike decides to prove himself by entering the Scare Games, a college competition to determine a monster's scaring abilities. However, the competitors are teams from MU's fraternities and sororities.
But hope arises when he joins Oozma Kappa, a fraternity of misfit monsters. Mike reluctantly lets Sulley join the team so they can enter and makes a deal with Dean Hardscrabble for the entire Oozma Kappa fraternity to be allowed in the Scare Program if they win, but for Mike to leave Monsters University if they lose the games. Sulley is concerned since Oozma Kappa has a high level of ineptitude when it comes to scaring, but Mike decides to train them to be scarier.
Despite Mike and Sulley's rivalry, Oozma Kappa unexpectedly lucks out the first rounds of the Games. During a party at ROR house, the ROR pranks Oozma Kappa and humiliates them in front of the whole university. Mike arranges a secret visit to Monsters Inc. lifts their spirits, causing Mike and Sulley to begin to like each other, and with Mike's help and training, Oozma Kappa makes it to the final round against ROR. Mike also gains a new appreciation for the other members and their abilities, since he only joined the team to get back into the program.
Even as the final round arrives, Sulley has a hard time believing Mike can be a good scarer. So in the final round, he manipulates the equipment so that Mike can register a perfect score and allow Oozma Kappa to win the tournament. When Mike discovers this, he's heartbroken and decides to prove to everyone that he's capable of being a good scarer, once again denying the fact he's a bad scarer. So, he breaks into the door lab and uses a newly-crafted door to enter the human world at a summer camp, but his plan goes wrong and he fails to scare the kids.
Sulley soon enters the door to look for Mike. After finding and reconciling with Mike, the pair attempt to return but Dean Hardscrabble deactivates the door until the Child Detection Agency arrives, trapping them in the human world. Mike realizes that the only way to get back into the monster world is to generate enough scream energy to power the door from their side. Using both Mike's knowledge and Sulley's natural abilities, Sulley and Mike are able to scare the investigating adults to the point that they are able to make back through the door. Their actions prompt their expulsion from the university, but before they leave, Hardscrabble acknowledges that Sulley and Mike have surprised her and she wishes them luck. Mike and Sulley decide to take jobs at Monsters, Inc. in the company mailroom, and over time, work their way up to janitors, then cafeteria workers, then scream can wranglers, until they become part of the scarer team, thus establishing the story for Monsters, Inc.
In the short, Mike is now the protagonist of his own story. He has brought a new six-wheel drive car and wants to show it to Sulley. When they both get in the car, Sulley accidentally ruins the brand-new car and injures Mike. In the end, Mike kicks Sulley out, speeds off and wrecks the car completely and then he misses his old car.
Mike (in his Monsters University variation) was released as a figure in the series' first installment. Like Sulley's figure, Mike has a "scaring power" to terrify enemies, using a MU-brand megaphone to help him. Aside from super jump and a barge attack, Mike's spherical shape contributes to his moveset.
Mike, along with Sulley and Boo, will appear in the game as a party member. In the trailer, it was shown that Mike whill have a special move called "Scream Strike". This command involves Sora grabbing Mike and hurling him towards the Heartless, knocking them down like bowling pins.
Mike occasionally appears as a meetable character in the parks but most common in shows. He used to wear his hard hat (which his performer would see through) but now wears his MU hat.
Mike appeared as a large puppet for the Carnival of Color pre-show from the original World of Color's debut year. However, unlike other puppets from the pre-show, he and Sebastian were not used in the Disneyland version of the Paint the Night Electrical Parade, due to appearing on the floats based on their films.
In the Magic Kingdom, Mike is the host of Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, in which he introduces the monster comedians and tries to prove to Roz that the Comedy Club model of collecting laugh energy will work.
Mike has his own spell card in the Disney World attraction, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom called "Mike's Grand Entrance".
Mike appears in Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek, in which he teaches the guests how to play flashlight tag.
- Mike was listed #23 in Empire Magazine's The 50 Best Animated Movie Characters.
- Mike was named by legendary performer Frank Oz.
- In an early animation test, Mike was considered to have no arms and would have picked things up with his feet.
- In Monsters University, it is shown that Mike had braces as a child. As a teenager, he had a retainer.
- As revealed in an early cut-scene, Mike was originally Randall's assistant instead of Fungus.
- Mike is renamed "Robert 'Bob' Razowski" in the French dub.
- Mike has a brief cameo, swimming past in scuba gear during the credits of Finding Nemo, returning the favor, so to speak, after there is a Nemo cameo near the end of Monsters, Inc. The "gear" he is wearing was what he wore to "protect" himself from Boo in Monsters, Inc.
- Mike appears in the end credits of Cars as a small car. This car version of him also appears briefly in Tokyo Mater with Sulley when Mater drives through a building.
- A topper of Mike can be seen in WALL-E.
- In the original pitch of Monsters, Inc., Mike did not appear in the movie.
- Mike also wears a contact lens, which is said to be the size of a pizza, considering that he has very poor eyesight on account of he's a cyclops.
- Whenever Mike Wazowski is shown on public media, such as a Monsters, Inc. commercial or a magazine cover, his face is actually always covered up by the text on said media (such as the Monsters, Inc. "M eyeball" logo in the commercial and a barcode on the magazine cover). Also, the DVD (and possibly the upcoming Blu-ray disc) for the film appears to take this even further by having the DVD artwork and the hole in the middle of the DVD used to secure it into place once inside the DVD player both positioned in a way so that the hole is actually placed over Mike's face.
- A similar thing occurred during Monsters University in which Mike's ID card has his head out of view.
- The gag of his face being blocked out occurs throughout the two movies, and a running joke is that he is completely oblivious to his face being obscured.
- In Monsters University, Mike is 18, meaning that in Monsters, Inc. he is about 28.
- Mike and Frank McCay both share the same birthdays according to their Scare Cards.
- Despite them clearly meeting for the first time in Monsters University, Mike remarks at one point in Monsters, Inc. that Sulley had been jealous of his looks since the fourth grade. This could be a joke.
- 90% of the monsters in Monsters, Inc. have Mike's tongue.
- Eddie Murphy originally auditioned for the role of Mike Wazowski but turned down the role due to being in Shrek. In addition to Murphy, David Schwimmer, Drew Carey and Sinbad auditioned for the role of Mike Wazowski.